NYERI, Kenya, Oct 12 – A section of coffee farmers from Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties have resolved to set up their own factory as a way of boosting their income.
The farmers who are conducting intense farming under “single stem” hope to earn three hundred shillings per kilogramme of cherry they will deliver to their factory.
Speaking during a meeting at a farm in Mathira, the farmers led by their chairman Patrick Muchiri say that under the system, they will produce quality grades that will guarantee the best coffee in the world.
“Under this system, we are sure of producing the best cup in the world which we will sell to consumers who we are sure of paying us handsomely,” said Muchiri.
The farmers who have plans to set up a cottage industry for their finished product say that for a long time they have been exploited by Millers and marketers who collude to determine their pay.
“The only way we as farmers can shape our destiny is through value addition, for many years farmers have never had control of their crop it’s the high time we do this through our groups,” said Muchiri.
Wahome Mwangi a local leader in Nyeri county, urged the farmers to embrace value addition so that they can earn more from their produce.
“We as leaders support effort by farmers to liberate themselves from yokes of poverty and the only way they can do this is through cottage industries that make sure they are in control of their produce,” said Mwangi.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Cooperatives, farmers in the two counties earn between fifty and one hundred shillings for a kilo delivered to factories.
Recently a SACCO in Nyeri county threatened to auction factories in Mukurwei-ini constituency due to non-payment of loans amounting to millions of shillings.
However, the Cabinet Secretary for agriculture Peter Munya stopped the auction and directed the Sacco to go after leaders who borrowed the money from banks and misused them.